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Creative Custom Framer Captures Honor and Strength with Unusual Materials

By Maureen O'Connor, Tru Vue® Marketing Manager

We are just over halfway through the entry period for this year’s Tru Vue® Framing Competition. Though our theme each year is different (click here to read about this year’s competition), the quality of our entries is always outstanding. In this post, we talk about an entry from last year that made it to the semi-finalist level from Kosal Eang, owner of Framed By Kosal in Monroe, Connecticut.



The moment


After a fire destroyed one of Kosal’s favorite hangouts as a teen, a local skating rink, the bravery and commitment of the firefighters who fought the blaze never left his mind. When Tru Vue announced last year’s Framing Competition with the Tru Frameable Moments™ theme, Kosal knew very quickly that he wanted to commemorate the firefighters’ dedication with an impressive framing package that honored their calling using materials that reflect the strength and ruggedness of the work they do.



“Most of the firefighters in our area are volunteers, and I was amazed at how well they worked together,” said Kosal, a previous competition judge, and Best-In-Show winner. “There were ten trucks from surrounding towns at the fire and seeing them in action was incredible.”



The design


Kosal began with eight photos of firefighters on the job which he float-mounted using different pieces of Optium Museum Acrylic® placed at varying depths inside the frame. This gave the project the impression of movement. He wrapped a basic black frame in fabric from an actual firefighter’s jacket to create the outer frame. Moulding from the Larson-Juhl Anvil collection provides an accent as the inner frame, and Kosal, who likes to work with unexpected materials, carried its industrial distressed metal look through to the diamond plate, layering, even more, texture into the piece. A final layer of Optium Museum Acrylic covers the piece. The phrase “Hometown Heroes” is etched  at the top right corner.



“I frame based on mood,” said Kosal about the design decisions he made for the piece. “I wanted to convey the strength and unity of the firefighters. The materials in the project were chosen to be rugged and durable.”



It’s not always about the win


Having been involved in the competition for several years, Kosal believes that the benefit of entering isn’t just the prize.



“Ultimately you can leverage the competition and the experience of conceptualizing from design to production to presentation, which is good for working with customers,” said Kosal. “West Coast Art and Frame voters play the role of the customer when they look at your entry.”



He also uses his entries as a way to generate excitement in the work his shop is doing.



“The competition is a way to build relationships with clients,” he said. “I talk about what I am doing, and they become very curious. They feel like I am an artist, not just a framer.”



The entry period for this year’s framing competition ends on October 1, 2017. For more information on rules, prizes and how to enter, click here.

This article is intended for educational purposes only and does not replace independent professional judgment. Statements of fact and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) individually and, unless expressly stated to the contrary, are not the opinion or position of Tru Vue or its employees. Tru Vue does not endorse or approve, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, accuracy or completeness of the information presented.

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